Monday, August 11, 2008

July 29 Laurens to Clermont L Herault 59 K

Today the ol' Volpe, my 8 year old Bianchi bicycle, woke up with an ailment. Turned out the front derailleur broke. I think it may be the original, So it had about 20,000 fully-loaded miles worth of shifting. I was able to ride without shifting the front gears to Bedarieux where I had been told there was a bike shop. Turns out this bike shop is closed on tuesdays AND today it was tuesday. So I made a change in my route plan. Instead of continuing north to visit an Orthodox Monastery near Le Bousquet d'Orb and cycling the Tarn River Gorge and the Ardeche, I headed straight east to Clermont L'Herault and the bike shop there. I hustled and even got there before the bike mechanic closed for his 2 hour lunch. But he said he could only work on it tomorrow. So I settled for a shorter day. I needed some easy days anyway. Oh, in Bedarieux I went against one of my "Cardinal Bike Traveling Rules". Never allow an amateur, no matter how well-intentioned, to work on your bike. A guy in front of the closed bike shop wanted to try to fix my derailleur problem, but you guessed it, only made it worse. My day in Clermont saw me eat an "American Sandwich". Oh brother!!! Cheap burger (I hope) with french fries on top stuffed into a hoagie bun. And the internet cafe was closed on tuesdays as well.

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